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Ongoing inexcusable billing issues

RemyTheRat
Chatterbox
Message 6 of 6

Upgraded from ADSL2 a couple of months ago to Fibre35 and while connection has been great, the agreed contract and subsequent billing issues have been appalling, sucking up time and energy dealing with support chat and phone calls. An affirmed 'escalation' and commitment to contact me from the billing dept. within the past seven working days has not been met, hence this forum post.

A sorry tale of broken promises and inaction from TalkTalk and a primary motivation for reluctantly exploring moving to a new supplier within the next 12 months...


6 Feb 2021
Exploring offers on TalkTalk website, while logged in. Inline personalised offer appears for fixed price 12 month prepaid contract for Fibre35 appears for only £246.00. Hits button, pays £246.00 upfront by debit card, receives order confirmation email within minutes (order no: N80441131) – a legally-binding contract. TalkTalk now have my cash. Great, I think, covered for next year. Abbreviated email from TalkTalk (18:46, 6 Feb 2021) as follows:


Broadband speeds: max etc
Contract length: 12 months
Your broadband package: Fixed price for 12 months
Fibre 35 charge: £246.00
Upfront payment made today: £246.00
Your new Super Router will arrive in the next 3-5 days, along with a simple step by step guide before your go live date.


11 Feb 2021
Checks in to see if router is on its way. No, contract doesn't offer upgrade. Contests on basis of written commitment in initial order on 6 Feb. Great. New router turns up, go live date confirmed. Thank you. Router arrives and go live date comes and goes...
All up and running 24hrs late, but pleased. Later, receive £5 credit on go live delay, which is nice.


Mon, 22 Feb 2021 15:10:51 GMT
First bill arrives for £22.95, subtracted from credit on account. £246 over 12 months contract equals £20.50 pcm. At this billing rate, I'll receive about 42 weeks of service, short of the 12 month prepaid contract. Some chat as follows...


Me: Hi. I've been overcharged on bill number: TT0589778207
Me: If billing is charged at £22.95 per month, then that's 10.7 months, not the the 12 month contract I signed up to.
mthobisi: We do not have Fibre 35 at £20.00 the lowest price we have is £21.00
Me: Order N80441131
mthobisi: I do not see the price stating it is £20.00
...

Me: Please refund £2.95 and set monthly charge for Fibre35 as per agreed contract to £20 per month, or please escalate or call XXXX XXXXX to discuss. I wouldn't have agreed or prepaid this deal at £22.95 per month.

mthobisi: I can see on the account that you have £29.95 as your monthly recurring charge.
Me: This is wrong.
Me: And not what the contract I signed up to. It was a one-time offer on the Talktalk website which I paid £246 by debit card.
Me: Order Number: N80441131
Me: Fixed price for 12 months Fibre 35 charge £246.00 Upfront payment made today £246.00
...

mthobisi: I can confirm that after investigating your order, it is still inactive.
mthobisi: I do see notes that you account is stuck.
mthobisi: The notes are as follow
mthobisi: "The previous order has completed on the network however our customer records and billing system have not been fully updated, therefore the customer may be billed incorrectly. Please apologise to the customer for any inconvenience."
Me: Yes, billed incorrectly. It is not inactive. Openreach made the connection on 18 Feb, Talktalk completed the connection on 19 Feb. Speed test and router settings confirm Fibre35 is active – I'm using it now. As requested, please credit the account by £2.95 and set monthly debit to £20.
mthobisi: The changes can not be made as the account is still inactive.
Me: Please make the account active.
mthobisi: I cannot make it active, It will be active on it's own, as the notes stated that the system had issues and they will be fixed and you might get billed incorrectly but rest assure they will update and you will get the correct charges and refunds necessary if needed.
Me: OK. I'll come back to this when the next bill arrives in late March. Thanks for your time.


Wed, 24 Mar 2021 14:30:48 GMT
Me: Hi. After speaking with an adviser one month ago, I'm still not being billed correctly. I took out a prepaid 12 months contract for £246, (20.50 pcm) but am being billed for £22.95 per month, twice now.
Lethiwe: I understand and I will be happy to assist you today, Just to confirm that the per-paid you took it with our voice team, Is that correct?
Me: It was an online offer and order through the website. Order Number: N80441131, paid in advance on 6 Feb 2021, for 12 months. I have been charged £22.95 per month for two months now, which will not cover 12 months.
Lethiwe: So you took it online on the website?
Me: Yes.

...

Lethiwe: Thank you so much for your patience. I can advise that you will receive a bill on your bill date but you wont have to pay as it will be taken from the credit which you paid £246 for in advance so every bill you get will be taken from that amount which you paid so I would advise that you not to worry as this account due is taken from the per-pay amount which you made.
Lethiwe: amount due, I meant.
Me: But I'm being charged £22.95 per month, which isn't what was in the contract. The contract was for £246 for 12 months, pre-paid, which is £20.50 per month. If you take £22.95 per month, then £246 will only last less than nine (more) months.
Lethiwe: I can advise that wont happen for the next duration period of your contract.
Me: I've been overcharged by £2.45 for two months now. Feb and March. And I raised this issue one month ago and it hasn't been resolved.
Lethiwe: I can advise that as our voice team deals with the pre-pay you will have to call in as my services are limited.
Me: OK. Can you please provide the number? Thanks
Lethiwe: Sure not a problem.


...


A few days later, I follow up, call the voice team and a verbal commitment is made to:


A) escalate and...
B) for someone who has the authority in billing to contact me and rectify this situation 'within the next seven working days'. I ask 'by call or email?'. Vague response and now that time, including Easter, has passed... and I now see some small print somewhere that despite being a fixed prepaid contract, that monthly charges will go up to £30pcm in January, one month before the 12 month contract ends.


I recognise that it's an insanely great personalised deal, that these are small amounts and I have been with TalkTalk for a while, but I expect two things:


1) That if you take my cash in advance and I receive a written order confirmation of a 12 month contract at an agreed offer and rate that was advertised to me as a one-step click-through on your website, that it's adhered to. I don't have the time and resources to continually chase this error and I was looking for a degree of certainty and stability in knowing that I'm covered until early 2022.


2) That commitments to resolve and escalate this matter through repeated calls and chats are met, instead of frontline support saying they're unable to authorise and action a request and then failing to follow through.


Neither of these two expectations are unreasonable, but if we can't progress this, I'll regretfully look to move onto a better standard of service. All I'd like is to be refunded the two months worth of overbilling (2 x £2.45 = £4.90) and immediately set the monthly billing rate as per the agreed contract before the next bill is due in about two weeks time.


I've updated contact details in my profile. Thanks in advance for helping to move this along.

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5 REPLIES 5

Message 1 of 6
Details sent just now, although online form wouldn't accept landline number and wasn't sure whether 'enquiry password' is the same as account password. Hope you have everything you require at this stage.

Thanks for helping to progress this issue.
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SocialTeamJo
Support Team
Message 2 of 6

Hi RemyTheRat,

 

Apologies for the delay.

 

We'd like to take a look at what's happening, have sent you a PM so that we can take some details.

 

Thanks,

Jo

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RemyTheRat
Chatterbox
Message 3 of 6

Thanks for feedback, all.

I'll sit tight for a little while, but hope that this is straightforward to resolve as it's immensely corrosive to trust and brand reputation, especially as frontline support, billing and website/email backend don't seem to be on the same page at all.

Attached: an (edited) PDF of the order, the basis of which serves as my understanding of the contract. Note also the inclusion of the Super Router in small type towards the bottom, which was refused, then agreed to after disputing. It's not too much to ask that an offer in writing matches the provided service.

Thanks again.

Message 4 of 6

@RemyTheRat If you took up the Pre-pay saver offer then it does look like something has gone amiss, it should not be a question of credit from your account being deducted on a monthly basis at a different rate. Hopefully the support team here can sort this out for you. 

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Gliwmaeden2
Community Star
Message 5 of 6

When you change package, @RemyTheRat, there can be confusion as the new contract would start the day you agreed it (and indeed paid for it).

 

It wouldn't necessarily coincide with the billing cycle. You would have paid the previous bill for the month ahead on your old contract, so the amount showing due on the first new bill should show some sort of adjustment for the change. 

 

You need to check in My Account to see what chunk of your £246.00 was affected by the balance from the previous month.

 

There will be a similar odd month, probably, at the end of the 12 months as your billing cycle and end of the "paid in advance" period will not coincide. 

 

You then end up in the final month with a few days at the rolling monthly full price, or you take out a new contract and further adjustments show on the subsequent bill etc.

 

Or, if you then leave, it still takes a month or two to sort out a final balance.

 

Basically, it won't be a straightforward case of £246.00 ÷ 12, because of the timing of the billing cycle as opposed to the deal dates, which will indeed reflect £246 for 365 days.

 

Staff will clarify what has happened.

 

Your thread is in the queue for attention. Please look out for a reply from staff during business hours Monday-Friday. 

Gliwmaeden2, a fellow customer.
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